I wish The Voice of 1000 Years: Turkish Language Festival to be beneficial for our country, our nation and our language, Turkish. I greet with love and respect all our guests attending the Turkish festival. Our language Turkish is an ancient language commonly used in the geography from Adriatic to the Great Wall of China with variations in dialects, local dialects and alphabets. Since the first texts in writing, Orkhon Inscriptions and first written source, Divanı Lügati't-Türk by Kaşgarlı Mahmut, figures such as Yusuf Has Hacip, Ahmet Yesevi, Yunus Emre, Ali Şir Nevai and sagas such as Dede Gorgut Stories, Danişmentname, Saltukname, Battalname, Ahmediye, Muhammediye have greatly contributed in developing Turkish language. And throughout the 20th century, Mehmet Akif, Yahya Kemal, Necip Fazıl, Arif Nihat Asya, Erdem Bayazıt, Cahit Zarifoğlu, Sezai Karakoç in Turkey, Bahtiyar Vahapzade in Azerbaijan, Shahriar in Iran, and numerous masters of Turkish language put forth texts which demonstrate the power of modern Turkish.
Recently, Turkish language being reduced to a party in political disputes is a serious hardship we face as a nation. The effort was to disrupt the continuity of our ancient civilization with dull, tepid, toneless words. Today if a young person cannot understand the language of Mehmet Akif Ersoy, Ömer Seyfettin, Ahmet Haşim let alone Fuzuli, Baki, Şeyh Galip, this is an outcome of the plot against our language in this period. Thank God, this mentality was overcome but the damage is still there. This is why I find the regulations concerning teaching Ottoman Turkish in schools significant in this respect, which is a rich legacy of ancient Turkish. On the other hand, I observe mainly on internet with grief the deterioration of Turkish language which affects our younger generations. Everyone should do their parts in this subject from families to schools, and press to the business world. We witness a condition: using borrowed words on signboards, in correspondences and speeches and that has spiraled out control. I personally advise the owners of those locales with non-Turkish names to change these; particularly if I am opening that locale. However I must mark that I have not seen the sensitivity I desire towards this subject. Yunus Emre Enstitüsü hold important tasks regarding teaching Turkish language abroad, and promoting Turkish culture. I follow Yunus Emre Enstitü's activities of teaching Turkish and promoting Turkish culture in real terms with appreciation, for they do not use Turkish language as a cover for other activities and mislead the society. I wish success to all Institute personnel for their future endeavors, and warmly thank all those who contributed in this beautiful event, The Voice of 1000 Years: Turkish Language Festival.
RECEP TAYYİP ERDOĞAN